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Wine glasses are seven times bigger than they once were

Cersei Lannister must have missed the memo that her wine goblet should’ve been much smaller.

Wine glasses have expanded in size nearly seven-fold over the past 300 years, scientists at the University of Cambridge found, with their growth spurt surging most sharply over the last 20 years — in line with consumption rates.

The average wine glass held 66 milliliters in the 1700s and glasses today hold 449 ml, according to the study published in the journal The BMJ. They noticed that there was an increase of 66 ml between the early 2000s and 2017 alone. This is, the researchers said, perhaps a reason why people overdrink.

“Wine will no doubt be a feature of some merry Christmas nights, but when it comes to how much we drink, wine glass size probably does matter,” lead author of the study Theresa Marteau told the Guardian.

Researchers inspected glassware from the 18th century held at the Ashmolean museum in Oxford, from the collection at Buckingham Palace and modern-day home furnishing catalogues from John Lewis.

“Wine glasses became a common receptacle from which wine was drunk around 1700,” co-author Zorana Zupan said. “This followed the development of lead crystal glassware in the late 17th century, which led to the manufacture of less fragile and larger glasses than was previously possible.”

The study notes that alcohol is the fifth leading risk-factor for premature death in high-income countries around the world. In England in particular, where the study was conducted, the researchers said that the type and amount of alcohol consumed has changed over the last 300 years. Wine consumption, specifically, increased by four times between 1960 and 1980 and then doubled by 2004.

“Our findings suggest that the capacity of wine glasses in England increased significantly over the past 300 years,” added Zupan. “Since the 1990s, the size has increased rapidly. Whether this led to the rise in wine consumption in England, we can’t say for certain, but a wine glass 300 years ago would only have held about a half of today’s small measure.”

health studies
united kingdom

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